More inter-city trains for rail station

Passengers waiting for a CrossCountry train at Morpeth Railway Station. Picture by Trevor Watson.
Passengers waiting for a CrossCountry train at Morpeth Railway Station. Picture by Trevor Watson.

A rail group has welcomed the announcement from the Department for Transport (DfT) that more CrossCountry trains will be calling at Morpeth Railway Station.

As part of the new contract for the franchise, which will continue to be run by Arriva Cross Country, the company will increase the number of trains that stop at Morpeth each weekday from three each way to five from December 2017.

A spokesman for CrossCountry added that as timetables for this period are yet to be determined, it has not yet been decided which trains will make the additional calls.

The South East Northumberland Rail User Group (SENRUG) has been lobbying for more long distance trains at Morpeth for some years.

In October 2015, the group responded to a DfT consultation on CrossCountry services and a meeting was then held with DfT in December at the Mayor’s Parlour in Morpeth Town Hall with the Mayor in attendance.

SENRUG chairman Dennis Fancett said it was great that the DfT responded positively to its business case and Morpeth is the only station across the whole of England and Scotland to be singled out by the department as getting more services under the new CrossCountry contract.

He added: “We are delighted our arguments have been listened to – it makes belonging to a voluntary campaign group such as ours worthwhile.

“Morpeth will soon be a major regional station with a frequent range of services to various destinations across the north and further afield.”